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MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan — The indoor rock climbing wall at the Weasel’s Den was expected to reopen early this week with some procedural modifications following what officials called a minor accident Feb. 22.

The wall has been closed since then after a climber, who was not clipped into a climbing harness, fell. Base officials wouldn’t discuss the extent of injuries “to maintain the privacy of the individual.”

The last accident resulting in injury on the climbing wall occurred in spring 2006 after a certified climber, climbing unsupervised, also failed to clip into the harness, according to base officials.

In a written statement, 35th Services Squadron Commander Maj. Tim Sites, said, “We are working on increasing the awareness of the safety requirements and will increase our signage to remind climbers to check the rope.”

Following the most recent accident, the 35th Fighter Wing’s safety office conducted a safety investigation, determining that the wall is safe to use, officials said.

“The wall will reopen once the 35th Services Squadron can review its practices to limit reoccurrence,” Sites wrote. “We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.”

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Jennifer reports on the U.S. military from Kaiserslautern, Germany, where she writes about the Air Force, Army and DODEA schools. She’s had previous assignments for Stars and Stripes in Japan, reporting from Yokota and Misawa air bases. Before Stripes, she worked for daily newspapers in Wyoming and Colorado. She’s a graduate of the College of William and Mary in Virginia.
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